A book is of more value than the house of a master-builder or a tomb in the western desert... Is there anyone around today like Hor-dedef? Is there anyone else like Imhotep? ... Those wise men who foretold the future. ... They might be gone and their names fade from memory - except that their writings keep them remembered.To a hermetic mage books are not just knowledge, they are sources of revelation and power.
According to one story Imhotep first became enlightened when he read it. It was at first hidden in a lead box on the bottom of the Nile, protected by snakes, scorpions and crocodiles, but later it was hidden in a secret room in the Temple of Hermopolis (likely by Imhotep). According to the myth, it was found again by king Khufu, who used it to build his pyramid. His descendant Khafre hid it in its original box beneath the Sphinx. It is believed to have been read by Hermes Trismegistros, but he hid it again somewhere. The Architects of Divine Measure found it, learned from it but didn't dare to use its full potential and hid it again. It might be in the Library of Alexandria, but the High Librarians refuse to comment.
Today the Book is the archetypal great secret everybody seeks; there have been several well-funded and prestigious expeditions into Egypt just to discover its whereabouts; it is the holy grail for many members of the Order of Hermes (not to mention the Batini, who officially deride the book-seekers as "bookworms" while themselves looking for it).
Availability: one unknown copy. Possibly some excerpts are known to the Architects.
Hartwright-Carter spent most of his life working in Egypt gathering this information, making numerous expeditions up the Nile and seeking cooperation with the Batini. The result is a somewhat confusing but very complete study, including much Egyptian folklore, old legends about strange events around the pyramids and accounts of umbral expeditions. It contains elaborate drawings and maps of the pyramids and temples, gathered observations about their occult powers and hermetic theories about how they work and their purposes. It was published on his deathbed, and to the last he sought to make additions and improvements.
The book contains many important discoveries and rotes. It describes how to use the pyramids to reach the Tuat (and through the Tuat presumably the Land of Reeds of the Dead and the lands of the gods), although Hartwright-Carter never dared to leave the vicinity of the pyramids in his explorations of the netherworld. It is surprisingly simple to use the pyramids in this way: one just has to enter them normally, and then go into the Umbra. There one must follow a prescribed path through the umbral chambers, giving various guardians passwords from the Book of the Dead, leaving through the spiritual gates of the North and South and finally invoking Anubis for guidance and support.
Availability: Fairly common in the Order of Hermes. The book can be found both in the library of the Luxor Club, the Great Library and St. Vincent Manor.
Availability: Very common, but most versions are incorrect.
The final chapter, "Saracenic rituals", contains what the author claims he learned from Arabic wizards during his captivity in Syria and travels to Alexandria during the crusades (he claimed to be several hundred years old). It contains detailed descriptions of the summoning and binding of the efreet and djinn, information about the priesthoods of Sobek and Bast, mentions the Cult of Nun and the worm-wizards of Irem and some of the secret history of Egypt.
Availability: Very rare. The Library of Alexandria is likely to have a copy, but it is not shown to visitors.
Availability: Rare. One copy is owned by the Luxor Club.
Availability: The book itself is available among sleepers, but the full concordance is uncommon even among the Order of Hermes.
Availability: Several partial versions are known to sleeper scholars, but the Library of Alexandria and the Luxor Club have complete copies which might be invaluable for mages attempting the full mummification ritual.
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